Sunday, October 17, 2010

Karnataka fiasco: Final hearing on five rebel MLAs plea today

Bangalore, October 17, 2010

The final hearing on the petition filed by five Independent MLAs challenging their disqualification from the Assembly membership will commence in the Karnataka High Court on Monday. The court last week ruled that the outcome of the October 15 trust vote of the B S Yeddyurappa Government would be related stories

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subject to its final decision on this petition.

The BJP government had won the vote of confidence with 106 members (excluding the Speaker K G Bopaiah) supporting it and the opposition logging 100 votes in a House with an effective strength of 208.

This meant that even if the five independents earned legal reprieve in the case, the government would continue to have the numbers in its favour.

The Speaker had defended the disqualification of the five (who have thrown in their lot with the opposition), saying Independents joining any other political party are liable to be disqualified.

\"(An) Independent should remain as independent till his term is over,\" he said on October 11 after the first trust vote taken by the Yeddyurappa government, adding, according to the documents provided by the Independents, they have joined a particular political party.

While government sources have expressed confidence that the disqualification would be upheld, the opposition is hoping that the Court would set aside the Speaker\'s order.

The high court has reserved orders on the petitions filed by 11 rebel BJP MLAs, challenging their disqualification.

Congress on Sunday attacked the Chief Minister for his announcement that the Cabinet would be expanded soon, contending that \"legally he has no powers to do so\" when the case regarding disqualification of MLAs and Governor H R Bhardwaj\'s recommendation for central rule are pending before the court and President Pratibha Patil, respectively.

\"He (Yeddyurappa) can\'t do it (cabinet expansion) till the Court gives its verdict, and also as long as the Governor\'s recommendation is pending,\" President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee R V Deshpande told reporters.

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